The GFN Committee have handed over the election organisation for the annual advocacy awards to INNCO. On the plus side it’s a recognition of INNCO’s global potential, on the other,  it’s now our responsibility to ensure that these awards continue to attract enthusiasm, support and nominations to acknowledge the very best from across the globe.

Advocacy work can often seem a thankless task. The majority of advocates are volunteers utilising their own time and resources to do the work, in the background - quietly, without any glory or fanfare because of the passion they feel about helping others, about sharing their knowledge and experiences and the need to disseminate the truth about safer alternatives to tobacco. Advocates and consumers are the backbone and foundation of and for the work that INNCO does. The Advocate of the Year Awards are there to recognize and acknowledge the people who are deserving of our appreciation, because without them, we are nothing.

The INNCO Advocacy Awards offers a global opportunity to recognise and acknowledge the advocacy warriors, the researchers, the consumers who consistently strive to make a difference. The people who believe that the truth about tobacco harm reduction offered by switching to alternative nicotine products is a cause worth fighting for.

The criteria are as follows:

An individual consumer advocate

for alternative nicotine products (whether a member of a group or independent) who has consistency gone ‘above and beyond’ to spread information, knowledge, enthusiasm or offered assistance in supporting the rights of others to choose safer alternatives to combustible tobacco.

The second category remains similar to previous years:

Professional advocate

An advocate for tobacco harm reduction, who may or may not be a consumer, who utilises their professional status and position to promote the concept of Tobacco Harm Reduction using their background in science, health, advocacy or academia.

Finally, INNCO have introduced an entirely new category. As one of INNCO’s stated aims is to encourage the formation of local and national advocacy groups on the basis of ‘together we are stronger’, it seemed a logical progression to acknowledge the importance and effectiveness of sharing a common goal.

Honorary Advocate

This award is for an individual who has been outstanding in promoting the cause of alternative risk reduced nicotine products whether through education, campaigning, collaboration or by offering practical assistance within their regional and/or national community and governments.

The winners will be announced on Thursday 14th June at the GFN following the Michael Russell Oration.